5 Best Pencil Soldering Irons
5 Best Pencil Soldering Irons
5 (100%) 3 vote[s]
Weller PES51
Weller PES51 50-Watt Soldering Pencil
50-Watt
From 350°F to 850°F
Made in Mexico
Weller WM120
Weller WM120 12w/120v Pencil Thin Soldering Iron
12w/120v
Tip temperature of 800°F
Made in Mexico
Delcast JY60-A
Delcast JY60-A Pencil Tip Soldering Iron
60w/110v
Quickly heats
6 FT cord
YKEY
YKEY 65W 12-24V Upgraded Original TS100 Digital OLED Programmable Pocket-size Portable Soldering Iron
Power: 65W
From 212°F to 752°F
Micro USB port
Harpost
60W 110V Pencil Type Adjustable Electric Temperature Gun Welding Soldering Iron Tool
60 Watts
Temp range 392 °F to 842°F
5 soldering iron tips

Choose the Best Pencil Soldering Iron

Customer’s Choice: the Best Rated Pencil Soldering Irons

32 users answered this survey. Please help us improve this review!

62.5% of users selected Weller PES51, 3.13% selected Weller WM120, 6.25% selected , 15.63% selected YKEY and 12.5% selected Harpost. Delcast JY60-AEvery month we analyze your answers and change our rating.

A pencil soldering iron is a type of soldering iron that has a thin, long shaft and an insulated handle. The tip size can vary from one inch to six inches in length. It’s used for making electrical connections on circuit boards, but also useful for many other things around the house such as plumbing work or hobby projects like repairing electronics. 

Pencil soldering irons are a great tool for any electronics hobbyist. They allow you to solder small connections and components without using an expensive, bulky station.

There are many types and brands on the market today, so we created this guide to help you find the best pencil soldering iron for your needs. Read this article to find out more about what makes the best pencil soldering irons stand out from the crowd.

Weller PES51 50-Watt Soldering Pencil – the Editor’s choice!

For those who love a good soldering pencil, there’s the Weller PES51 50-Watt Soldering Pencil Iron. This is one of the most popular brands when it comes to these necessary and valuable tools, and you can see why.

The PES51 has enough power for all your needs while coming in on the higher end with its performance levels – 350 to 850 degrees Fahrenheit.

To sweeten the pot even further, it only takes 50 watts of power along with a 5mm tip that folds inwards for easy storage or travel. The clamp has a locking screw as well so you know it won’t budge at all when used!

Pros

  • Great temperature range;
  • 7-year warranty;
  • Reliable;
  • Good performance;

Cons

  • Pricey;
  • The handle and body heat up easily;

It’s no secret that you can find a number of different options when it comes to soldering pencils, but if you’re looking for something very powerful that will last a long time then the Weller PES51 50-Watt Soldering Pencil is an excellent option. This product offers 850 degrees Fahrenheit – a temperature on the more expensive side and has a watt rating of fifty watts.


Weller WM120 Pencil Thin Soldering Iron – the best for portability!

The WM120 pencil is a decent choice for the hobbyist looking for a portable, well-made soldering iron. These are only appropriate for light to mid-temperature jobs that require 900°F and under.

The 12w power rating means it won’t take up much space or electricity. Plus, you get plenty of heft without sacrificing portability thanks to the wood handle inlaid with an aluminum bipod base on top.

Pros

  • Premium quality;
  • Good for heavy-duty soldering projects;
  • Lower power consumption;
  • Budget-friendly;

Cons

  • Only fixed temperature;
  • Plastic parts may overheat;

Solid copper and aluminum alloy make for a high-quality soldering pencil that meets UL specifications. There’s no limit to what you can do with this great Weller WM120 soldering iron!


Delcast JY60-A Pencil Tip Soldering Iron – the best for the price!

The JY60-A Pencil Tip Soldering Iron is perfect for precision work, soldering tight spaces, and more. The Delcast tool features a pencil-like tip, heating up to 361.4 degrees Fahrenheit in order to provide great dexterity when working with small objects.

This Delcast soldering pencil makes up for its high price with the unique design and quality you’ll find. It has an easy-to-use layout: one on the left side for changing voltage, others in the center allow variable control of temperature. On the bottom is a button to turn on or off the power. There are two semi-circle rubber buttons to change between modes (DC/AC) and lock or unlock settings.

Pros

  • Budget-friendly;
  • Power indicator light;
  • Good for soldering the small objects;
  • Very long and durable cord;
  • Lifetime warranty;
  • Has lead solder in the pack;
  • High wattage;

Cons

  • Limited portability;
  • No variable temperature;
  • Won’t pick up too hot solder;

This product has an adjustable power switch, but it does not give you the option for setting a specific temperature since it only heats up to 360 F. However, you can rest assured that this will do all of your standard soldering jobs with excellent consistency because of its lifetime warranty.


YKEY Original TS100 Digital OLED Pocket-size Station Kit – the best for versatile functions!

The YKEY Original TS100 Digital OLED Pocket-Size Station Kit is the perfect homeowner’s companion. This device will accommodate up to 4″x4″ surface areas and with a 65W power, it operates within a range of temperatures from 212F – 752F.

Such a range means you can easily use this while cooking in your home kitchen, doing carpentry, soldering, or industrial grade work for business purposes.

The iron also has an integrated detachable stand so that you are safeguarded against carrying around excess metal and plastic accessories with no real need. Also, it uses a low setting of 104F and includes special features like wide compatibility, the temperature stability of ±2, and solder resistance less than 2Ω making this product ideal when working.

Pros

  • Programmable;
  • Easy to use;
  • Versatile functions;
  • Upgraded design;
  • Fast heating;
  • Safe to use;
  • Two temperature sensors;

Cons

  • Flimsy;
  • The temperature sensor may break;

The YKEY Original TS100 Digital OLED Pocket-Size Station Kit is perfect for the modern man. Be stylish and trendy while also being practical. This kit has got you covered from head to toe, so buy it today.


Harpost 60W 110V Pencil Adjustable Electric Temperature Gun – the best for beginners!

This is the perfect tool for anyone that needs to fix up their electronics! The Harpost 60W 110V Pencil Adjustable Electric Temperature Gun is made of top-quality material and has a nice smooth surface for drilling those precise holes in the plastic.

Whether you need to assemble or solder your project, this gun will get the job done. With an adjustable temperature range of 390 – 840 Fahrenheit with accurate in 1-degree increments, it’s great for any small soldering project.

Pros

  • Good for beginners;
  • Good to repair small projects;
  • Designed for delicate materials;
  • Nice smooth holes in plastic;
  • Conducts heat very well;

Cons

  • Flimsy;
  • Weak tips;

This “disposable” Harpost pencil soldering iron can be perfect for all your soldering, wiring-up, heating up and melting needs, especially if you are a beginner.


The Buyer’s Guide

How Does Pencil Soldering Iron Work?

This type of soldering iron is the most basic, and the easiest to use. It comes with a round metal tip that discharges solder from its reservoir when heated. Pencil irons can be used for making small electrical connections, such as in-circuit boards or other electronics components. To work correctly it needs to have enough solder inside which typically means you need to refill it after every few uses. 

The pencil soldering iron is the most versatile and ideal for beginners. It’s small, lightweight, easy to use – just plug it in and wait a few seconds before you start using it. It can be used on jewelry with thin wires where conventional irons are too large or clumsy because of their design that includes a long stem extending from its body. 

A disadvantage of this type is that they must have enough solder inside them (usually some sort of soft metal lead) to work correctly – after several uses, refilling may become necessary. Consider buying a spool of solder wire separately if you do not want to refill your pen-style hot air gun frequently as well.

These tools usually have a thin metal shaft with a pointed tip and do not require mounting to an electrical outlet because they are battery-operated. The power is passed through the shaft from one end to another, heating the point at which it meets solder wire (the lead). Pencil irons can be used for all types of general electronics work that require small connections like checking circuit boards or bridges on hand-wiring projects, as well as fine circuitry such as chipboard connectors in electronic devices.

Safety When Soldering

Safety is one of the most important steps when soldering. To keep yourself and others safe, always wear an anti-static wrist strap or ground bracelet for static charges that can build up in your body and discharge into other nearby components causing damage to them. 

Also, make sure you have adequate ventilation because there will be fumes from solder which are hazardous if inhaled too often. Make sure you use a fire retardant surface like concrete or metal, never wood as it might catch on fire! 

Lastly, don’t forget to turn off all power sources before starting so nothing bad happens by accident.

Don’t use a public outlet or extension cord to power your tool. Take care of the fire safety and keep an eye on children that might be around when soldering.

How to Solder Using a Pencil Soldering Iron?

Soldering is a process in which two metals are joined by melting them with the help of additional metal, typically tin or lead. The solder melts and flows between the parts to form a secure bond.

Learn how to use your pencil soldering iron here:

  • Before using, hold the pencil soldering iron to make sure it is heating properly; 
  • Insert tip into the small hole on side of the contact point, making sure it’s touching both points of contact at once; this will cause some resistance as you turn on the power switch before the needle heats up;
  • Insert jumper wire from one end of the battery pack onto the positive (+) terminal slot (should be indicated with “+”); insert another end into the negative (-) terminal slot (indicated with “-“);
  • Use metal tweezers or pliers (I recommend this) to place lead wires onto hot spots and other areas where connections need fixing. Hold for 30 seconds at 930F while moving around;
  • Holding tip perpendicular to surface, apply heat from the bottom side of contact point by pressing down until solder flows freely and makes a complete connection between two points of contact. Be careful not to apply too much heat;
  • After you have finished soldering, use a flux pen to clean the tip of the contact point;
  • The solder wire will not last forever; the average lifespan is about one year. To replace it, simply remove the old wire from its hole by pulling on the end that’s sticking out and insert the new wire into an empty hole;
  • Do not touch or place any object other than a pencil onto hot surfaces (such as metal tweezers) while they are being heated because this may cause them to overheat in minutes. Be careful when removing tools since some parts can get very hot during operation! Make sure all melting components cool before touching with bare hands;

FAQ

Are USB soldering irons any good?

You don’t need to worry about the power source. A USB soldering iron is just as good a choice for most tasks: from light electrical work to automotive electronics and micro-soldering (smaller electronic components). That being said, if you’re looking at using your solder pencil every day for long periods of time or working with heavy wire then it’s worth considering an AC adapter instead of relying solely on battery life.

Are cheap soldering irons any good?

Cheap soldering irons are not recommended. They have many plastic parts and may cause fires because the heat settings can’t be adjusted correctly for different materials or thicknesses. You’re better off spending more on quality pencils that will last longer.

Is 30w soldering iron hot enough?

The answer to this question is the 30w soldering iron is hot enough for most applications. However, some people prefer a hotter 60-80 watt pencil tip to solder large joints without waiting too long.

A 30-watt pencil soldering iron is only about as powerful as a hairdryer. If you are looking for something with more heat, consider checking out the 40W Pencil Soldering Iron or 60W Pencil Soldering Irons. The higher wattage means that you can work quicker and get better results in less time.

How hot is a 100-watt soldering iron?

A 100-watt soldering iron will be 1000 degrees Fahrenheit. Keep in mind that different models of irons have a range for temperature settings, so it is important to check with your manual before using it. This can also vary depending on what you are working on – if you rarely or never solder small components and need large amounts of heat then a lower-wattage model may work better as well!

How hot does a 50-watt soldering iron get?

The 50-watt soldering iron will reach a max temperature of 850F. The higher the wattage, the hotter it gets. This is just one example though – this isn’t always true for all pencil irons on this list!

How hot does a 20-watt soldering iron get?

A 20-watt soldering iron only needs to be heated up enough to melt the solder. That means that the temperature is not important for this type of product, and it does not need a high wattage control. Heating time will vary depending on how hot you want your tool to get, but most people do not turn their pencil irons past 600F. 

How hot does a 25-watt soldering iron get?

A 25-watt soldering iron heats up to about 750F. That’s hot enough for most jobs, but many people prefer 40-watt or 60-watt soldering irons for more precise work and hotter heat. However, the higher the wattage of an electric pencil welding iron, the longer it takes to reach necessary temperatures.

What is the best wattage for a soldering iron?

The best wattage for a soldering iron is between 40 and 100 watts. Pencil irons in this range are usually sufficient to get the job done fast and efficiently, while still keeping your projects from overheating or burning out. The lower end of the spectrum is good for delicate jobs that require precision work, like working on circuit boards with small components. While higher wattages are better suited to heavier duty tasks such as repairing car engines or model wiring.

What is the best soldering temperature?

This depends on the type of project and the electrical power you have for your soldering iron. In general, 220F is usually considered the best temperature.

In some cases like point-to-point connections or when using leaded solder plated through holes, higher temperatures may be more appropriate as they help make joints stronger.

In a most practical situation, the temperature ranges from 446F up to 572F. It should not exceed 833-925F, since at these high temperatures flux will evaporate faster than it can aid in wetting surfaces; gasses released by rosin create bubbles that keep molten solder.

Are tips interchangeable for different soldering irons?

Soldering iron tips are interchangeable so long as they have the same shape. The soldering tip is an essential part of your tool. It will help you get precise results on jobs like electronics or jewelry work. If you need to replace a tip due to damage or wear, make sure that it matches in size and shape with the one that was removed before proceeding. 

It’s easy enough to see why someone might assume that these parts are interchangeable when looking at pencils for sale online – there’s no indication which type of pen each model includes. This isn’t always true though; some models come without any form of solder attachment whatsoever while others may include a wire brush or other component instead of a hot tip.

Are tips for soldering irons universal?

Yes, soldering tips are usually universal. They’re not interchangeable like a light bulb that may fit different lamps. But, for the most part, you can use any tip with any soldering iron because they have standardized sizes and shapes. There are some exceptions to this rule though depending on what type of job you need to do and your skill level. 

If it’s just basic work then almost anything will be fine but if you want something more specialized or precision work then going with one designed specifically for that purpose is recommended as sometimes cheaper options don’t last as long or simply won’t perform as well.

The shape of the iron does not matter. Round-tipped irons are good all-around choices. Chisel-shaped irons are better for hard-to-reach spaces or small corners.

Where can I buy a pencil soldering iron?

A good place to start looking for pencil soldering irons is at your local hardware store. They will have a variety of different sizes, shapes and wattages available. These are usually the best places to look if you need one quickly or just want an inexpensive option. You can also find them on Amazon. Another thing that makes these stores so convenient is they often carry other necessary items like solder and desoldering braid that you’ll need when making repairs with your iron.

Interesting video: How to fix the Weller WESD51 flashing 888 error

Final thoughts

Whether you’re a hobbyist or an experienced professional, the experts want to help make sure that you have the right pencil soldering iron for your needs. Luckily, this guide has helped answer some of your questions about what makes pencil soldering irons stand out from the crowd and give you an idea of how to use these tools in practice.


Hi! My name is Tom and I’m an author of the blog. My hobby is electronic circuits and soldering irons.

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